☕️ LCS forensic audit: mineral water, cotton bud packs, cleaning cloth etc listed as spare parts purchases
PH learns its lesson, parties to use common logo. Domino’s Pizza Malaysia acquired by largest international, Aus-based Domino’s Group. US President to cancel USD10k student loans, costing USD500 bil.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
20.6% — foreign shareholdings of the Malaysian stock market as of end-June 2022. The declining trend in foreign shareholdings started in May 2018 after GE14, falling from the year’s high of 24.2% in Mar 2018.
USD317 bil — the amount of financing offered by banking giant JP Morgan Chase to the fossil fuel industry between 2016 to 2020, making it the world’s top “fossil fuel financier”, according to environmental groups.
USD185 mil — Nike becomes the world’s top-earning brand from sales of non-fungible tokens (NFT), according to Dune Analytics, with over 67,000 transactions, 7x higher than the next on the list, Dolce & Gabbana. Check out Nike’s NFT site, RTFKT.com, which it acquired back in Dec 2021.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Monies from the littoral combat ship (LCS) project were used to buy cotton bud packs.
Rafizi Ramli is not holding back as he revealed more glaring facts about the LCS scandal (that UMNO leaders want to move on from). Rafizi claimed Alizes Marine Limited was set up to misappropriate funds from the project. The forensic audit report revealed that global purchase orders (PO) issued to Alizes Marine Limited contained items that did not belong to depot level spare parts (repairs and maintenance), such as mineral water, cotton bud packs, cleaning cloth, fans etc.
Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was frustrated by the witness in the 1MDB-Tanore trial.
Former Finance Ministry deputy secretary general (policy) Datuk Siti Zauyah Mohd Desa admitted in the High Court during the 1MDB-Tanore trial that she does not know the authenticity of her own testimony as her officers in MOF Inc had drafted her witness statement. It frustrated Shafee as he did not know why the witness was being produced by the prosecution.
Meanwhile, senior criminal lawyer Geethan Ram Vincent said former prime minister Najib Razak may be in prison for a much shorter period — eight years instead of twelve — thanks to the automatic one-third remission which is stated in Prison Regulations 2000. In fact, with so many court cases ongoing — he is definitely serving shorter than the 12 years as he needs to show up in court.
Lawyer GK Ganesan explains whether the Federal Court pre-judged Najib’s appeal and the court process. Interesting watch.
PAS doesn’t like crowds unless it is its own protest.
PAS Youth has threatened to hold a nationwide protest if the government continues to grant permission for various concerts to be held in the country. Why? Concerts are going against Islam. PAS Youth chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari said like-minded NGOs should rise together to prevent the spread of “hedonistic culture”. Fadhli must have been one of those who bought the RM500 tickets at Billie Eilish — they were seated so far away from Billie Eilish.
Air Suam Science, Technology and Innovation Minister strikes again.
Adham Baba wants Malaysia to be one of the world’s top 20 global start-up companies ecosystems through the Malaysian Startup Ecosystem Roadmap (Super) 2021–2030. Not too difficult of a goal as Malaysia is currently ranked 21 out of 100 best developing ecosystems, based on the Global Startup 2021 company ecosystem report.
7-Eleven (7E) Malaysia Holdings Bhd brought in revenue of almost RM1 bil the previous quarter.
For its 2QFY22 ended June 30, 2022, 7E recorded revenue of RM943.67 mil — its highest quarterly revenue to date. Its net profit for the same quarter surged 23 times to RM25.77 mil from RM1.12 mil in the same period last year.
Domino’s Pizza Malaysia joins the largest international Domino’s Group.
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (DPE), an Australian-based group, has entered into a binding agreement with Mikenwill (M) Sdn Bhd, which owns 100% of Dommal Food Services Sdn Bhd, the master franchise holder in Malaysia, to take over Domino’s Pizza Malaysia. DPE is also purchasing 100% Domino’s Pizza Singapore and 65% of Domino’s Pizza Cambodia. These acquisitions would add 287 stores to DPE’s current store count of more than 3,400.
Political parties under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition will contest GE15 using the PH logo after learning its lesson from recent state elections.
Budget 2023 will be tabled on Oct 28 as scheduled in the Parliament’s calendar.
Petitioners who rallied a crowd outside Istana Negara to seek a royal pardon for Najib Razak will be called for questioning soon, according to Brickfields district police chief Assistant Commissioner Amihizam Abdul Shukor.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Millions of Americans are USD10k lighter in student debt overnight.
US President Joe Biden announced that he will cancel USD10k in federal student loans for millions of Americans who earn less than USD125k per year. Another group of students under Pell Grants for those who are in greatest financial need will get USD20k forgiven. Such a move suggests Biden’s effort to garner support from the younger crowd in the upcoming midterm elections in November.
About 43 mil Americans (1 in 6 American adults) owe money on their student loans totalling USD1.6 tril, making it the second-largest type of household debt after mortgages. This will give the US economy a big boost with additional consumer spending — money not going to debt repayment can be spent elsewhere (saving would be a better idea).
There’s no such thing as free lunch and consequence-free decision — it’s estimated to cost the government USD500 bil over the next 10 years and it could push inflation higher as this newfound money finds its way to spend in an already inflationary economy.
5th anniversary of Rohingya refugee crisis
25 Aug marks the fifth year of Myanmar’s brutal military crackdown forcing more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Today, this number stands at more than 1 mil. There’s even a name for this anniversary — Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day. Rohingya are mostly a Muslim majority ethnic group living in the majority Buddhist Myanmar for centuries.
Myanmar does not recognise them as an official ethnic group, effectively barring them from citizenship, thus making them the largest identified stateless community in the world and the UN describing the Rohingya as “the most persecuted minority in the world”. Click on the above two links to learn more on this issue.
Putin wants another 137,000 more soldiers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, through a decree on a government website, ordered an increase in the country’s military by 137,000 more troops, bringing its number of available combat personnel from 1.01 mil to 1.15 mil. The decree did not specify how the troops will be recruited. This doesn’t bode well for its shrinking population, especially when they are sending young men to an unprovoked war.
Grab Q2 FY22 results — still losing money, at a slower pace
Super app Grab reported a 79% increase in quarterly revenue to USD321 mil as rideshare demand surged with the reopening of offices across its markets. Losses narrowed to USD572 mil, from USD801 mil. Losses aside — its core operating metrics are improving with USD5.055 bil of gross merchandise value recorded in the quarter, up 30% YoY with 32.6 mil transacting users, up 12% YoY. See its results presentation deck here.
Grab’s share price is faltering behind its main rival in Indonesia, GoTo, the combined entity between Gojek and Tokopedia — GoTo’s market cap of USD26 bil is more than 2x of Grab’s USD11.8 bil. Not looking good for Grab investors.
After partying video, the Finnish PM is back in the spotlight over a topless picture.
PM Sanna Marin was not one of the women in the pictures of 2 topless women kissing, but it became an issue as it was taken in the official summer residence of the PM. Marin admitted the “picture is not appropriate” and apologised for the incident.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Severe drought in China has caused some rivers, including part of the Yangtze, the world’s third largest river, to dry up, affecting hydropower and halting shipping.
K-uncles — meet South Korea’s oldest influencers.
Sperm whales sleep in a ‘standing position’, first documented in the wild in 2017.